The purpose of this response is to evaluate the challenges associated with conducting a qualitative research. Using the results, a synthesizing process will occur to determine the appropriate research strategy for a study on pre- certified professional accounting certificate candidates. Defining the different issues that are associated with sampling, validity, reliability, and bias that could affect the research will be performed. Then an analysis will be conducted to determine their effect on the study.
The implications from the analysis will increase the understanding of the possible issues a researcher ay face when preparing to complete a study on pre-certified professional accounting certificate candidates. It is important to know the potential hurdles so the research can try to mitigate the risk. Conducting Qualitative Research Qualitative research is an observation method that attempts to describe and classify various cultural, racial, and/or sociological groups by using interpretative and representational approaches (Bailey, 2014; Saving-Baden & Major, 2013).
Qualitative research is considered observational and narrative and does not rely on experimental elements that are associated with scientific search (Bailey, 2014; Bartok, 1986; Landlord & Taylor, 2002). Chandler (2103) stated that qualitative observational research is a methodical inquiry into the origin Of the participant’s behaviors to be able to understand what it takes to be a part of that population. Classes and Symons (2011) described qualitative research as a collection of a wide range of research methods based on philosophical stances.
Classes and Symons (2011) contend that qualitative research is connected with a variety of different theoretical perceptions. Normally, qualitative research studies are concerned with the scientific search of publicly fabricated reality, concentrating on meanings, thoughts and practices, and taking the participant’s earnest view (Classes & Symons, 201 1). For instance, qualitative research questioning methods are developed out of psychoanalytic theory (Classes & Symons, 2011).
Originally, qualitative research was used in inspiration research, which engaged demanding, detailed individual dialogues complemented by a series of projective and a variety of psychological tests (Bailey, 2014; Chandler, 2013). These methods were directed at getting the thought beneath verbal responses. This would low the researcher to understand why the participant responded the way they did. The application and study of motivational research necessitates an advanced order of professional skill (Classes & Symons, 2011).
There are several research strategies that can be used by the researcher in a qualitative research study. Research Strategies for Qualitative Studies There are numerous research approaches that qualitative researchers have at their disposal. The subsequent themes are commonly used in qualitative research: Case studies. Qualitative case studies are more than merely performing research on a person or situation. Baxter and Jack (2008) stated that the qualitative case study strategy will provide a tool that researchers can use to examine difficult phenomena inside their situations.
Baxter and Jack (2008) claimed when the method is applied properly, case studies will become a valued method to create theory. In a case study, the participant’s experiences are recorded by an observer watching from the outside. For a beginner in qualitative research, Case studies are an outstanding chance to obtain valuable understanding regarding the subject matter. Case studies allow the researcher to obtain information from various sources and to insolate the information (Baxter & Jack, 2008). Ethnographic studies.
Kelly & Gibbons (2008) stated that anthropology is the primary origin of the qualitative research approach called ethnographic. This type of research allows the researchers to study in a natural environment of a complete cultural group (Kelly & Gibbons, 2008; Phelps & Herman, 2010). A cultural group is normally defined as individuals that share a mutual communal experience. The researcher may submerge himself/herself in the environment to record the interaction as a participant (Kelly & Gibbons, 2008). Phenomenology studies. Oenology studies are often called a philosophical viewpoint and a method to qualitative approach (Ritter, Stewart, & Bruce, 2011). The objective of phenomenological research is to pull information from participants’ involvements (Ritter et al. , 201 1). Phenomenology emphasizes the origin of an individual’s experience. Phenomenology will help the researcher to understand why individuals are committed to their involvements. Phenomenology method includes researching individuals over a period of time in a little group intensively (Ritter et al. , 2011). Grounded theory studies.
Grounded theory studies primary purpose is to create concepts about a phenomenon of interest. However, grounded theory is not only about intellectual conjecturing; instead the theory needs to be based on observation (Ritter et al. , 2011). Grounded theory is considered a complex process. The grounded theory approach is based on field research, where investigators try to move beyond specific implications to identify general patterns and regularities in social life (Ritter et al. , 2011). Synthesize Research Strategies Qualitative approaches include case study, ethnography, phenomenology, ND grounded theory.
Out of the four studies mentioned, the researcher will use phenomenon, or the study of the structures of conscious experience, and the relevant conditions experienced from a first person point of view in the study on pre-certified professional accounting certificate candidates (Ritter, Stewart, & Bruce, 2011). Phenomenology is a way to help the researcher examine the overall picture of a phenomenon; this phenomenon allows for the explanation based on lived knowledge which aids in the building of theory (Ritter et al. , 201 1).
According to Dowling, (2007) the arduous and impartial AOL of phenomenology is to help with the understanding of an individual’s conscious and their related experiences (Ritter et al. , 2011). This is what the research is designed to accomplish from the in-depth interviews that previous research has had challenges in discerning from quantitative means (Ritter et al. , 2011). Did the candidates get what they thought they were getting from their CPA certificate? This is a personal account from an experience of the participant.
Likewise, the researcher will need to describe the personal account and explain the Steps taken to best align the goals of earning the eradicate with their perceptions and expectations (Dowling, 2007). Challenges in Qualitative Studies Slashing (2003) stated that qualitative examination effects in a dissimilar type of information than quantitative analysis because the participants argue the fundamental philosophical origin of individual paradigms. The individual paradigm causes interviews and observations to be dominant in the naturalist paradigm and in the positive paradigm a supplementary impact (Slashing, 2003).
Scholars argue that a quantitative researcher tries to separate their experiences in the research process (Winter, 2000). Subsequently, qualitative researchers have to examine and validate that their studies are sound. In a qualitative research study, the researcher has an intimate involvement with the data collection so the researcher can be considered as an instrument in the study (Patton, 2001). The trustworthiness of a qualitative research is contingent on the ability and determination of the researcher. Therefore, validity and reliability are considered as independent variables in a quantitative research (Slashing, 2003).
In the place of these terms credibility, transferability, and reliability is used. There has been an increase in acceptance of qualitative research methodologies; however, the lack of procedural and process transparency has caused many to condemn the research methodologies (Bailey, 2014; Slashing, 2003). The analytical process has been the main focus for much of the criticism. As a result of the lack of data regarding the features of the participants and in the sample is damaging the credibility of many of the qualitative study tech unique available today (Slashing, 2003).
Qualitative studies principle concern is to comprehend the thoughts of the participants in their research study. Qualitative studies try to accomplish this task by observing the participants in their normal every day activities (Slashing, 2003). Neumann (2014) stated that observing the participants in their normal every day activities is the foremost reason why qualitative simulations exist. However, these models are not as accurate and they are limited in some extent but they are much quicker and easier to design (Classes & Symons, 2011; Neumann, 2014).
Clag and Langley (2013) expanded on two more issues that can arise when doing a qualitative research – subjectivity and generalization. Subjectivity is a redeemer of qualitative research methods but is considered a principle imperfection. Since qualitative research leans heavily towards interviews and case studies there is a risk that the researcher will misinterpret the data that has been collected leading to bias from the researcher on the study of pre- certified professional accounting candidates (Dickson-Swift, James, Kipped, & Elimination, 2007; Slashing, 2003; Clag & Langley, 2013; Winter, 2000).
For instance, if the researcher had an abusive childhood, the researcher for sympathy could exaggerate the negative aspects of the participant’s holding (Clag & Langley, 2013). This exaggeration Of the negative aspects would cause observer bias to creep into the interview and final study results (Clag & Langley, 2013). The evaluation of the data observed can be effect by us objectivity. Researchers performing qualitative research studies have to use their powers of deduction when analyzing the data from the participants.
In this process, researchers can be prone to allow their interpretation to be shaped to help validate what they wanted to prove going into the study (Bailey, 2014; Slashing, 2003; Clag & Langley, 2013). Personal bias is not as easy to do in quantitative research studies because the mathematical analysis that is performed on the information from the study. Once the information has been received from the participants then the researcher will have to analyze the data for the findings (Bailey, 2014; Slashing, 2003; Clag& Langley, 2013).
However, because of the subjective nature, level of detail, and the fairly small sample size, it is harder to generalize qualitative findings to the entire population (Clag & Langley, 2013). Clag and Langley (2013) claimed that this gives an advantage to quantitative search because the findings can change into mathematical terms that can be used to generalize the entire population. In qualitative research studies the detailed answers provided by the participants can make it impossible to generalize and reach a conclusion on the entire population.
Consequently, it is important to know the sampling method that was used to determine the sample size. In qualitative research studies, the sample size is much smaller than a quantitative research studies which can cause the study to be a less dependable method to represent an entire population (Clag & Langley, 2013). Analyze the Issues Associated with Sampling, Validity, Reliability, and Bias Samplings. Samplings are the process of taking a large population and use their specific characteristics for individual subgroups to participate in a study.
Greenwood and Mill (2011) stated that sampling is crucial in the need to gather data for researching the phenomena of participants who are representative of the ideal population and can convey the information. Samples can be classified as either inviolability samples or probability samples (Gradual, 2011; Kohl, 2014). A probability sample contends that everything has a valid probability of being included in the sample that is taken from the larger population. Probability samples are a truly random process that occurs when the sample is selected.
The opposite applies to a inviolability sample. In this type of sample, the probably of everything being included in the sample is not known by the researcher (Gangland, 2011 A simple random sample, stratified sampling, cluster sampling, and systematic sampling are the most common used by researchers (Gradual, 201 1). Convenience sampling, judgment sampling and quota sampling sequences are considered inviolability samples since they do not include the entire population (Gradual, 201 1). These sampling techniques lack the randomness that is present in the probability sampling techniques.
One Of the most Common probability methods is the simple random method. The key to this method is the randomness of the participants from the entire population. It is important that every unit of that population has the same chance of selection. This helps reduce possible bias creeping into the study and makes things easier for scrutiny (Primer et al. , 2012). The inconsistency between individual results within the sample can be a great indicator of the difference in the entire population. Kohl (2014) stated that convenience sampling is a popular non-probability sample technique.
Convenience samplings are also called grab, opportunity, accidental or haphazard sampling. The researcher uses participants in their research based primarily on the ease to get them (Kohl, 2014). The non- probability sample method Uses a non-random manner to pick the participants that will be in the study so not all the population has an equal chance of being picked for the study (Kohl, 2014). Non-randomness can cause issues with the research when they attempt to determine how effective their sample represents the entire population (Gradual, 201 1).
Sampling for qualitative research poses a challenge when trying to determine the appropriate sample size. According to Kavas and Brinkman (2009) the generalization of a large population is solely dependent on the sample size that is going to be used for the qualitative study. A general rule for qualitative research is to proceed with sampling until the information is no longer new information and no new insights are forthcoming. This is known s data saturation. Gradual (2011 ) stated the most significant stages in a research study are to have a sampling design with appropriate sample size.
How to select the participants and the number of participants is the primary question in the mind off researcher. Statistical inference can be wrong when analyzing the sample to the population when the sample size is not appropriate for the qualitative research study. It is important that a valid representation of the entire population be included in the qualitative study. The issues can be reduced by ensuring random sampling to endure all the individuals of the population has an equal probability of being selected for the study.
However, the difference between the sample and population results is called an error. Random error, systematic error and moroseness error are the main errors between the sample and population results (Boyd, 2014). Boyd (2014) described a random error as any fluctuation between the population and sample that is caused by chance. This type of error cannot be eliminated and will always exist because the error occurs by coincidence instead of an actual act. Boyd (2014) next mentioned a systematic error that was defined as the variance amid the population and sample.
This error is normally caused by issues with the sample. Three common systematic errors are underestimations, researcher bias, and inadequate sample size. The last one Boyd (2014) mentioned was a moroseness error. This occurs when the participants selected for the research are not interviewed. Moroseness error is a problem for survey quality because it almost always introduces systematic bias into the data (Boyd, 2014). Validity. Teenagers (2009) defined validity as simply a test that actually measures what it intended to measure.
Slashing (2003) stated in qualitative research studies the validity incept has been defined in a large variety of terms. Subsequently, this concept is not static or normal and can affect the concept of validity in a negative manner. Slashing (2003) went on to state that some researchers do not believe that validity is pertinent to a qualitative research study. However, they do concede that there has to be some method of suitable check or measure for this type of research (Slashing, 2003; Winter, 2000).
If the research cannot be measured on some type Of suitable method then the research could be called into suspicion. Researcher’s choice of paradigm assumption and view on validity has a earful influence in their study (Crewel &Miller, 2000). This phenomenon has caused the researchers on view of validity to be discarded. The researchers choose terms like rigor, quality, and trustworthiness to describe their studies (Davies & Dodd, 2002; collegians, 2003; Hendricks, Fischer, Toby, & Fewer, 2013).
The term rigor normally appears to infer validity and reliability of a study (Davies & Dodd, 2002). Davies and Dodd (2002) argue the term rigor in qualitative research should be different than quantitative research. Teenagers (2009) stated that the testing instrument can be every impacted by violations in validity, even more than its counterpart reliability. Teenagers (2009) stated that this impact can be verified because validity is considered a comprehensive concept. This does not allow validity to be statically measured causing more confusion for researchers that reliability.
For a qualitative research study to be considered valid, the researcher needs to perform the study continually over a period of time and use a variety of evidence sources (Teenagers, 2009). This will cause different samples to have multiple studies so the evidence of validity can be documented. Some scholars such as Missies (1995) have condemned traditional approaches to validity for being too narrowly focused. This perception of being narrowly focused can cause the validity to be considered grouped discrepancies at the cost of promoting expansions to an integrated concept (Missies, 1995).
Reliability. Pair (2012) defined reliability as a fair representation of an entire population because the results are consistent over a period of time. The research results need to be able to be duplicated under a comparable approach (Pair, 2012; Slashing, 2003; Teenagers, 2009). Scholars tend o use the same terms or labels as validity when describing reliability. In qualitative research studies, scholars sometimes use the reliability term but interlace the concept with a different meaning (Pair, 2012).
The meaning is usually corresponding to the nature of qualitative research (Pair, 2012). One definition is used for what is seen and another for the replication ease Of the study. Teenagers (2009) stated issues in reliability may arise in the measurement of the test and retest method that was used in the study. This occurs when the scale of measurement is given to the same participants but n different time periods. The participants may not remember their answers from the previous study. The reliable measurements should produce very similar scores in the different periods (Pair, 2012).
In the definition of reliability, one of the criteria is the research needs to be able to reproduce similar results under a similar methodology (Pair, 2012). Accurate reliability estimate cannot occur when the research uses dissimilar sample items. Bias. Emmer (2002) stated that special attention and discussions are the issue of bias in a qualitative research that needs to be addressed. The researchers sis towards the study on pre-certified professional accounting certificate candidates can have a negative impact on the perception of reliability and validity of a qualitative research study.
Emmer (2002) stated that when a specific research result varies from the true finding then bias has occurred. Bias can creep into a research study by sampling errors or even the manner in which interviews were performed. The researcher needs to be aware of the danger that may drag bias into their study and invalidate their study. Lee, Suggestion, Ghana, and Crooning (2013) stated that in a qualitative research study hat bias from the researcher is more prevalent since the researcher has a more active role in the process.
Bias can be in the researcher, questions, answers, samples, and reporting (Lee et al. , 2013; Emmer, 2002). These kinds Of bias can distort truth and skews the data in a study on pre-certified professional accounting certificate candidates. A methodical and insightful examination of some of the instruction and education actions of the researchers can bring more awareness to this kind of mistake. Conclusion All four concepts can have huge impacts on each other and the study on pre-certified professional accounting certificate candidates.
Sampling, validity, reliability and bias appear to be intertwined with each other and the relationships are necessary to enable the researcher to understand the hurdles that may arise when performing a qualitative research study. Additionally, an improper sample of a population can have a negative effect on validity, reliability, and produce bias in the research regarding pre-certified professional accounting certificate candidates. It is important that every unit of that population has the same chance of selection. Randomness helps reduce possible bias and makes scrutiny easier on the qualitative research duty (Firmer et al. 2012). Patton (2001) stated that while the qualitative researcher is designing the study, analyze the results and judge the quality of the study, it is very important that validity and reliability is considered. Special attention should be applied to these two concepts by the researcher in a qualitative research study to make sure that the results are valid and reliable for their study on pre-certified professional accounting certificate candidates. First, the researcher needs to understand the possible hurdles that may arise during their research.
Legerdemain’s the hurdles can assist the searcher develop a better plan to perform the research on pre-certified professional accounting certificate candidates. The understanding of the hurdles will be important for the researcher to understand possible bias that can be brought into the research through the questions, samples, answers, and reporting the results (Lee et al. , 2013; Emmer, 2002). Since the researcher is intimately active in the process, the researcher’s bias for a certain result could drive the findings to a conclusion that is not in line with the true results of the population as a whole (Pair, 2012).
The researcher has to make sure hat the key learning will reinforce that the sample is random and a fair representation of the entire population, the measures that intended to be measured are measured, and similar results can be reproduced at a later date. It is important to address any possible errors or bias that may creep into the qualitative research study on pre-certified professional accounting certificate candidates. However, being knowledgeable of possible influences at the design process can help lower risks associated with validity, reliability, samples, and bias. References Gradual, A. (2011).